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Controlled parking plans for Callowland, Watford, met with strong opposition
Plans to implement a controlled parking zone in the Callowland area of Watford were discussed by residents and business owners on Monday.
More than 100 people gathered at the meeting, held in Christ Church, St Albans Road.
A straw poll revealed only three people at the meeting were in favour of bringing in parking restrictions to the streets around St Albans Road.
Complaints about the scheme included the damage it would have on local businesses, with some stating they will be closed down as a result.
It was also suggested that the new restrictions would do nothing to help people in the evening when the majority of problems occurred.
MP for Watford Richard Harrington, who attended the meeting, said: "It is quite clear that there is a problem with parking in the St Albans Road area.
"There are more cars than spaces and if something could be done to improve provision then great.
"I personally believe the current proposals would make the situation 10 times worse, they would not help residents park in the evening when they have most problems, local shops would be decimated, and more than 120 spaces would be lost.
"When the source of the problem is lack of parking spaces, how can it help to reduce them?"
The council is currently consulting on whether to implement the new scheme, following a parking survey carried out by an independent consultant.
Residents also complained about the reported cost of the survey and consultation, totalling £30,000.
Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said the bill for the consultation would not have come from council tax, but from parking reserves, which are ring-fenced.
She added: "Although we’ve had a very high response, there has been a real fear that the consultation wasn’t real and it was a done deal. That saddens me.
"We genuinely wanted to hear what people wanted, and they needed reassurance that we would take their views into account.
"The results will be published within a few weeks. My personal view is that it would not work in Callowland.
"In other parts of the town it is absolutely the right solution, but people don’t believe that because they don’t want a CPZ.
"Last year 60% of people said they would like us to look at working up some sort of parking control.
"It’s only when people have the real details in front of them that they read it and think ‘this is not going to solve the problem’."
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